Norway, one of the World’s largest petroleum exporters, is switching its own gears to electric vehicles. Electric cars made up nearly two-thirds of Norway’s new sales in 2021. Norway’s Electric Vehicle sales are 65 per cent of total car sales. While Norway, with a population of 5.4 million, has the world’s highest proportion of electric vehicles, China with its 1.4 billion people is by far the biggest overall car market.
- OFFICIAL NAME: Kingdom of Norway (Kongeriket Norge)
- FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Constitutional monarchy
- CAPITAL: Oslo
- POPULATION: 5,372,191
- OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: Bokmal Norwegian and Nynorsk
- MONEY: Norwegian kroner
- AREA: 148,726 square miles (385,199 square kilometers)
Oil-producing Norway has encouraged the switch to zero-emission cars by exempting battery electric vehicles (BEVs) from taxes imposed on internal combustion engines (ICE). This tax break is expected to help drive the proportion of overall electric sales as high as 80% in 2022, ahead of a deadline to end petrol and diesel-powered car sales by 2025.
Overall new sales in Norway rose by 25% in 2021 to a record 176,276 cars, of which 65% were fully electric, in addition, 22% were plug-in hybrids, only y 14% of new cars were sold without a plug. EV market share was 54% in 2020.
According to estimates from industry tracker EV-Volumes, plug-in electric vehicles accounted for 4.2% of global light vehicle sales last year, up from 2.5% in 2019.
As many as 13 countries managed to push electric vehicles past 10% of new light-vehicle sales in 2020.
According to WEF analytics, Norway’s highest share of plug-in EVs is because of policies like–tax exemptions, toll exemptions, and other incentives. In Norway, an electric car owner is exempted from paying road tax or sales tax. The Nordic country imposes hefty vehicle import duties and car registration taxes, making cars significantly more expensive than the US.
China, which is by far the largest market for electric cars in terms of unit sales, fell out of the top-10 with electric cars accounting for 6.2% of passenger car sales in the country.
How could Norway achieve this?
- Government policy and incentives for purchasers in form of tax exemptions, toll exemptions, free parking space, free charging and other incentives. Vehicle tax has always been high in Norway and exempting these taxes has made EV cheaper.
- Increased taxes on traditional cars for eg., pollution tax.
- Shorter driving distances, thus making EVs a viable option
- Ample supply of renewable electricity at one of the cheapest prices in the world. Hydropower provides around 98 per cent of all electricity in Norway
- Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is the world’s largest at approximately $1tn for a population of just over 5 million. This has provided a very clear advantage compared with the budget constraints found in other countries.
An introduction to Norway
The Kingdom of Norway is a sovereign nation on the Scandinavian peninsula in northern Europe.
Norway is a constitutional monarchy and divides state power between the Parliament, the Cabinet, and the Supreme Court. The current prime minister is Erna Solberg, who has held the post since 2013. She leads a centre-right coalition government.
Norway maintains a combination of a market economy and a Nordic welfare model with universal healthcare and a comprehensive social security system. According to both the World Bank and IMF, Norway has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world.
The oil and gas industry remains of critical importance to the nation’s economy. Outside of the Middle East, Norway is the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. The industry accounts for around 25% of Norway’s GDP.
However, Norway’s economy is in a state of transition. The oil and gas will not last forever, and the government is making a substantial investment in other technologies. Norway’s domestic power needs are met almost exclusively by renewable energy. Seafood, shipping and tourism are among the other important industries.
With inputs from Reuters, lifeinnorway.net